Griffin Allen Brooks
STAMFORD — Griffin Allen Brooks, 94, of Stamford, passed away April 13, 2013.
He was born on a dairy farm April 7, 1919, in Meshoppen, Pa., to two very proud parents, Ethel and Walter Brooks.
After graduating from high school in Springville, Pa., in 1937, Griffin attended Scranton Keystone Junior College for one year. From there he moved on to Delhi Tech and graduated with a degree in animal husbandry in 1940. While at Delhi Tech, Griffin was a member and president of the Theta Gamma Fraternity.
During his time there, Griffin met Frances McClelland, a 1941 graduate of institutional management, and married her soon after graduation. They were married on Nov. 1, 1941, at the Stamford Presbyterian Church.
Griffin had many opportunities to pursue after graduation; however, he and his wife, Frances, purchased her father’s chicken farm to raise and process poultry and sell eggs to the locals and local businesses. After a decline in poultry farming in upstate New York, Griffin and Frances began to search for other sources of income. They started barbecuing chicken halves at the farm on the weekends.
From there, they had a concession stand at the DEL-SE-GO Drive-In along with a driving range and miniature golf course. This location was short-lived, as they evolved the business and opened up the first restaurant near the present location today.
Little did they know at the time, they were setting the foundation for what Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q has become today, a successful three-generation family-owned and -operated business.
Besides the passion for the business and the love and pride for his family, Griffin was a man of many interests, many hobbies and many talents. When it comes to a true outdoorsman and conservationist, Griffin was just that.
He enjoyed teaching others about hunting just as much as he enjoyed hunting. He was always the first one to go out in the woods and the last to come in at the end of the day. Griffin hunted most all of the local areas, including Stamford and his son’s hunting camp in Middlefield, as well as areas in the Adirondacks at their camp. Griffin was also a member of the Cross Brook Hunting Club. He has also hunted and been on hunting trips in North Dakota, Montana, Washington, Wyoming, Idaho and British Columbia, Canada.
He truly enjoyed all aspects of hunting; however, his most enjoyed was hunting game birds (turkey and pheasant) with his dogs, Sweetie, Katie, Ginger and Briar.
Along with hunting in the Adirondacks, Griffin enjoyed their camp in Ohio. There they enjoyed snowmobiling with friends and family and created many great traditions that are still active today, such as frying livers and gizzards on the trail and taking the entire family to the Ohio Hotel for New Year’s Eve dinners.
In keeping with the outdoor theme, Griffin had a true passion for his garden, fruit trees and of course his prized roses. Not only did he have this passion in New York, he also enjoyed his fruit trees at their home in Lehigh Acres, Fla. Although Griffin thoroughly enjoyed growing and maintaining all of his fruits, vegetables and roses, there was nothing more rewarding to him than sharing them with family and friends.
Along with his fruit trees, vegetable garden and rose garden, Griffin also crafted his beautiful Cyprus clocks and made over 100 of them, which can be found in local homes and even in other states.
With his true passion of the outdoors, Griffin also enjoyed golfing and was a member of the Stamford Golf Club as well as the Lehigh Acres Florida Golf Club.
Griffin was always on the go and always a part of all that is good. He served on the Stamford Central School Board of Education and was president of the Board as well.
Griffin was a Boy Scout Leader in Stamford. With all that he learned and understood, he gave back and became a member and leader of the Otschodela Council.
He was very committed to the church, specifically the First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, where he was a deacon and elder and was a major part of raising funds with chicken barbecues, turkey dinners and more.
Griffin was also an active member of the Stamford Rotary Club since 1945, and honorary member the last five years. He served as president for a term, receiving the Paul Harris Fellow Award as well as being honored as the Stamford Citizen of the Year. Griffin and Frances were named Mr. and Mrs. Oneonta and he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992, at Delhi College, the Alumni Association’s highest honor.
Of all the interests and hobbies that Griffin had, his main passion was his wife and his family. Griffin and Frances enjoyed traveling together and spent 25 winters down in Lehigh Acres, Fla. Griffin and Frances were married for over 71 years and are the cornerstone of what marriage and life are all about. He was a proud man when it came to his wife and his family.
Griffin is and always will be a leader to us all, an example of how we should live our lives and a model citizen for generations to come.
Griffin is survived by his wife, Frances, of over 71 years, and also survived and blessed by four wonderful children, Phyllis (Steve O’Sullivan), John (Joan Brooks), Becky (Rich Myers) and Sharon (Wally Dawson); followed by nine grandchildren, Kelly, Colleen, Stevie, Ryan, Griffin, Kim, Brian, Jennifer and Stacy; along with 13 great-grandchildren, Lizette, Keenan, Carter, Abigail, Brandon, Kinsey, Karlyn, Kendall, Peyton, Brooks, Dawson, Ethan and Taylor; and many nieces, nephews and very close friends.
Griffin was predeceased by his brother, Dean; sister, Marguerite; parents, Ethel and Walter; and son-in-law Dick Gillette.
The family would like to extend a very special thank you to his caregivers, Dr. Gerald Landry and staff at Bassett Healthcare and Hospice and friends.
Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 19, 2013, at the MacArthur Funeral Home, Hobart, at which time the family will be in attendance.
A funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 20, 2013, at the First Presbyterian Church of Stamford with the Rev. Jerod Stephens, officiating.
A private graveside service will take place at the convenience of the family in Stamford Cemetery, Stamford.
Memorial donations in Griff’s name may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, Stamford, NY 12167 or Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820.
Arrangements are with the MacArthur Funeral Home, Hobart, where memories and condolences may be shared online at www.macarthurfh.com.